Social Networks among Older Persons in Rural Uttar Pradesh, India

Lucky Singh, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

The purpose of this study is to develop a measurement model of social network, and to investigate the association of social network with socioeconomic and demographic variables. A sample of 600 older persons aged 60+ living in the 12 selected villages in rural areas was interviewed. Social networks with children, relatives, friends and confidant were considered. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed to test a multi-dimensional model of social networks. The results of the CFA demonstrated that the four specific social network types: children, relatives, friends and confidant proposed by Glass et al. (1997) were tenable. Large differences in specific social networks and total social networks by categories of age-group, marital status, educational attainment, working status, caste, wealth index and living arrangement were evident. The effect of the specific and total social network variables could lead to a better understanding of the effects of social networks upon health.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Population Aging; Gender, Race and Ethnicity